FOX 13's Lloyd Sowers was selected as one of 12 reporters allowed to witness the execution of Oscar Ray Bolin Thursday, January 7, 2016.
A day before the execution, Sowers reflected on the events of his day ahead.
I don't think it will be pleasant, but I think it's important to cover this story until the very end.
Natalie Blanche Holly, Stephanie Collins, and Teri Lynn Matthews became forever imprinted in my memory in early 1987 when I started working at Channel 13.
I interviewed devastated family members and followed the seemingly endless series of trials of Oscar Ray Bolin. My friend and colleague, Warren Elly, who passed away last year, was closest to the case.
I know Warren would have wanted to follow this story to the end.
I think one of my most important roles in witnessing the execution is to see how the state carries out the punishment.
Bolin will be given a series of three drugs. The first, a sedative, has been controversial.
Defense attorneys have contended that it doesn't always work well, allowing the inmate to feel excruciating pain. Whatever you think of Bolin, the law prescribes that the execution be as humane as possible.
Ideally, it should be like putting Bolin to sleep, although some would say the convicted and brutal killer should not get any such consideration.
I expect people on both sides of the death penalty issue will speak out. I'll do my best to report the events to you as accurately as possible.
According to the Florida Department of Corrections' website, 10 of the 12 pool reporters who witness an execution are chosen by the Florida Press Association (print) and the Florida Association of Broadcasters (radio and television). Two places are reserved for a reporter from the Associated Press and the United Press International-Radio.
One reporter from each group, radio/TV and print, must represent a news organization that covers the county where the inmate committed their crime or was sentenced to death; In this case, Hillsborough County.